The ministry of finance of the Republic of Belarus has mandated as lead arrangers Priorbank JSC, RZB and JSC Vneshtorgbank (VTB) to arrange a US$15mn syndicated term loan facility on its behalf.

This is the republic’s debut debt-raising transaction on the international markets. The proceeds will be used for general budgetary funding requirements.

The 364-day (extendable at each lender’s sole discretion) facility has a margin of 4.25% per year. There is a bullet repayment is as a bullet, in one single amount.

Participation levels of US$5mn, US$3mn, US$2mn and US$1mn (arranger, co-arranger, lead manager, manager) are being offered.

Syndication will be launched soon.

The Republic of Belarus is situated in the heart of Europe, on the crossroads of the railroads and highways, oil, gas and product pipelines, communication lines between western Europe and the Russian Federation, Asian countries.

Belarus’s GDP has been growing at impressive rates of an average of around 6% per year during the past six years.

It borders on the Russian Federation in the east, on Poland in the west, on Lithuania and Latvia in the north and on Ukraine in the south. The capital is Minsk with a population of 1.7mn people. As of January 1, 2005, some 9.79mn people of more than 100 nationalities lived in the country. Ethnically, the Belarussians (81.2%) form the majority of the population followed by Russians (11.4%), Polish (3.9%), Ukrainians (2.4%) and other ethnic groups.

The GDP has been growing at impressive rates of an average of around 6% per year during the past six years. In 2004, GDP amounted to about Brb49tn.

In 2004, the foreign trade turnover amounted to US$30.1bn (+40.6% vs 2003). The export volume was US$13.75bn and the imports amounted to US$16.35bn. The main trading partners of Belarus is Russia (about 47% of exports and 68% of imports) and the CIS countries (6.1% of exports and 4.1% of imports). Other important trading partner countries are Germany, Netherlands, UK, Italy, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania.

The main exported goods are mineral products (26.7%), transport vehicles (11.3%), mechanical and electrical machinery and equipment (10.7%), production of chemical industry (9.5%) and textile goods (7.4%). The highest growth rate among all exported commodities was generated by oil related products (+ US$1.2bn).